Mom, Take Your Time
Perusing the internet, my Pinterest board pops up with pregnancy tips, tricks, and hacks. I’m not pregnant, but as a doula, some of my searches are birth and baby related, so I can see what is trending at the moment with moms. Many titles use key phrases like “fast recovery”, “quick healing time”, “lose the weight quickly” “ easy delivery”. I couldn’t help but think that titles like these spurn the messy, beautiful, hard, delicate balance of motherhood. Labor is hard, any way you do it! A c-section is major surgery, an epidural is a powerful drug administered in a precarious way, a vaginal birth is intense and yeah sometimes long. There are no ‘ifs’, ‘ands’ or ‘buts’ about labor and delivery; it is hard.
And postpartum recovery? That is no walk in the park either. Having your body be exhausted, excited, scared, thrilled, hungry and satisfied all at the same time while simultaneously taking care of the most fragile and dependent little love, is a feat only a women can handle. It is a hurdle to figure how you can love someone new so much and feel so drained. And it is a hurdle to go to the bathroom. And then somehow fit in some sleep between feeds. You may be of the mindset that childbirth is natural process, and while true, that does not make it easy.
Motherhood is not easy.
Let me take off some pressure. Your postpartum recovery is not limited to 6 weeks. The adjustment to a new baby can take longer than what Pinterest tells you. Your body is not out of order, but it does have some new functions. Your mind may be ready before your body, but then your body may be ready before your mind. And that is okay.
Maybe you are in the camp that can’t wait to be cleared to start working out to get back to pre-pregnancy weight, but maybe you want your loved ones to enjoy your extra cushion a while longer. Either route you go is a hard path of loving yourself in the way you need.
Embrace the mess of motherhood! Embrace that it may require more time, and more help than you anticipated. Make birth goals and postpartum goals. But most of all, take your time getting there.